Nearly every career book advises jobseekers to send thank-you letters after being interviewed, but how many do? In the aggregate, only about 5 percent of those looking for jobs perform this simple yet crucial ritual. Thus, it’s time to address some of the frequently asked questions about thank-you letters.
Is there anything you can do to make a better impression with your thank you?
Find a way to personalize it. If you notice that the interviewer collects elephant figurines, for example, write your thank-you note on a note card with an elephant picture on it. Or send a clipping of an article you think the interviewer would be interested in.
Finally, if you did not get a job offer, follow-up with a phone call to the hiring manager. Keep to the timetable you talked about during your visit, but we suggest that you check back in a week — regardless — if nothing else then to continue expressing your interest in the position.
More aspects of followup:
- Do alert your references — if you have not done so already — that they may be getting a phone call from the employer.
- Don’t stop job-hunting, even if you feel confident that you will get a job offer. Do continue to interview and attempt to find other opportunities.
- Do follow-up with a telephone call to the employer within a week to ten days (or sooner, if the employer had a shorter timetable) to ask about the position. And do continue to build rapport and sell your strengths during the phone call.
- Do be patient. The hiring process often takes longer than the employer expects.
- Do continue following-up, especially if the employer asks you to. Remember the adage about the squeaky wheel getting the oil. Just don’t go overboard and annoy or bother the employer.
- Don’t place too much importance on one job or one interview; there will be other opportunities for you.
- Do use other job offers as leverage in your follow-up — to get the offer you really want.
- Don’t burn any bridges if you do not get a job offer. And do try and turn the situation into a positive by bringing the interviewer(s) into your network, possibly even asking them for referrals to other contacts. Read more about the art of networking.